The sneakers scam

Here’s what happened:

  • American Express notifies my, by e-mail (I really like this service) that I was just charged $441 by adidas.com. Problem is, I did not order from Adidas; not this time, or ever.
  • I call up AMEX and report the charge as fraudulent. They accept and send me a new card. I thought that was the end of it.
  • Some days later, I receive a package from adidas.com with two pairs of sneakers in it. Of a style I would not order, and in sizes I don’t know anybody has.
  • My wife picks up the box from the doorstep.
  • Later that day, there is a cryptic Fedex note on my door that is incomprehensible to me but refers to something about rerouting to Florida.

What do you make of this? Read on:

  • I send a note to adidas support. They promise to get back to me some time in the next century or so. (I forgot how long; they didn’t seem to be interested in promising quick customer support)
  • I tweet to Fedex asking what in the world that note was supposed to mean. They tell me “Our records show the driver delivered a package on xxx. However, the driver was coming back to retrieve this package, because someone requested the package to be rerouted to FL.”

Now see how this works? If I call up Adidas and complain, they will say “but you got your sneakers”. Except that Fedex took them away before I could get them, and it was a pure accident that they couldn’t. And if I return them, it turns out they will only refund me about $200, which is the price of the sneakers I have received, not the $441 that I was charged.

I can’t explain yet where the other $241 went. If you have any ideas, please let me know.

Update Sept 11: I received e-mail from Adidas:

Thank you for informing us about this fraudulent transaction. We have looked into this and confirmed that there is a transaction posted under your name on 09/02/2018 for $441.48. It has a total of 7 items and the 2 pairs of shoes that you received is part of it. It was of the best decision that you have coordinated to your financial institution. In turn, they will start an investigation and contact us for information regarding the order. 

For the 2 pairs of shoes that you have received or if there are still products that you will receive from this fraudulent transaction, we suggest that instead of processing a return, you may just donate it.

Must be a high-margin business :-)

Update Sept 22: The sneakers have been donated to an organization that assists foster parents and foster children. Cool-looking sneakers is one of the things a foster kid almost never gets, so I hope it will do some good there.

And: I suspect my credit card info was swiped during the Newegg breach.

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